4 Key Skills that Every Poker Player Needs to Win

In contrast to most other types of games, poker is largely a game of strategy where you’re pitting your skills against those of the other players on your table. If you intend to do well then it is important that you hone certain skills so that you’re able to gain every advantage and come up on top the next time you play.

On the whole, there are four key skills that every poker player requires to win and they are:

Observation

Every good poker strategy relies on your ability to observe everything about your opponents. Not only should you be watching their reactions, but you should also be paying attention to their playing style and what they do when confronted with different situations. If you’re playing in a ‘live’ situation (or a poker room with a webcam) then the number of things that needs to be observed is even greater.

poker skills

Recall

After you observe how players react and their style, you need to be able to remember and recall that information when it is needed. Although this may sound simple it is actually pretty difficult especially considering there are so many things to remember and on top of all that you’ll also have to be thinking about how you’re playing the game too.

Calculating odds

No matter how you slice and dice it, poker is a game where you need to be fully aware of the odds at all time. The faster you’re able to calculate the right odds for your hands, the more time you’ll have to think about what sort of strategy you want to use – and also observe the other players too.

Psychological analysis

Everything that you learn by observing players needs to be analyzed – which is where psychology comes into play. More often than not what people refer to as ‘tells’ are really psychological reactions that players have – and you probably have some of your own too. Being able to analyze players and how they respond and react when put in different situations is key.

Make no mistake it is impossible to master all these areas overnight and it will take time for you to train yourself in each of these skills. As a starting point you could make a conscious effort to observe your opponents the next time they play and try to notice any ‘trends’ in terms of how they play certain hands, or when they are in certain positions.

At the same time you should also learn how to calculate the odds involved in your hands. It helps if you play more, and you may want to try out the online poker at Paddy Power to get a few more games under your belt and some real practice calculating odds. Just remember to take your time and don’t rush it. The more you play and try to develop your skills, the more you’ll start to see incremental improvements that slowly but surely add up.

Showing Cards

Everyone and their mother has an opinion on showing cards. If you bluff you way to a pot, do you show your hand to rub it in or do you just slide your cards to the middle of the table and stack your chips? If you fold a hand in a big pot is it ok to show what you mucked?

Personally I don’t like to show my cards under any circumstances, but there are times when showing your cards may help set a trap for a future hand. With that theory in mind, I’ve come up with my own compromise: Just show one card. Whoever said that if you’re going to show your hole cards, you have to show both? Showing one card can make your hand even more mysterious than not showing at all. I generally do this at least once at a table or tournament to throw off other players. I never knew its impact until I did it one night by “accident” in Atlantic City.

Texas_Hold_'em_Turn

I was playing in a low limit $2 / $4 hold em game. I was at the table for about an hour or so and was doing fairly well. I was up about $100. There was another player at the table who had to criticize other players when they won a hand on the river or didn’t play up his level. We’ll call him “Fred.” I think we’ve all encountered this type of player before. I immediately didn’t like Fred when he criticized me when I won my first pot. I was holding 6-7 of hearts and I flopped a straight. To make a long story short I won the pot with my straight, but the there were 3 spades on the board along with a pair of nines. I couldn’t raise my straight with the possible flush and full house out there. When I showed my straight Fred shouted across the table to me “Why didn’t you raise?!” I told him why (trying to be the gentleman), but Fred told me I played it wrong.

Different ways to make online poker pay

As a professional and semi-professional online poker player with ten years’ experience then I think that I can spot a good deal whenever I see one. One of the reasons why I play lower stakes levels in online poker is simply because the games are easier. If I had to choose between playing poker with very good players and playing poker with the weak fish then give me the weak fish any day of the week. I would much rather make a safe $25/hour than bust a gut trying to making $100/hour and losing my money.

Switch Poker have just launched their new product and it looks really exciting and fabulous. Playing ipad poker and poker on your iphone is something that has only become possible of late. No longer do you need to travel to a casino to play the game that you love and no longer do you need cumbersome stack systems or laptops. Wherever you are then you can simply play poker. However as a pro player then this interests me as it will any serious poker player or player that really fancies his chances.

Playing poker on the ipad will bring a whole new army of weaker players into the game and that extra liquidity will be great for the game of poker as a whole. Millions of people the world over want to play poker and being able to play poker in this way and the ease at which it can be done is a massive quantum leap forward not just for Switch Poker but the online poker community as a whole and certainly the good players will love it……..I for one can’t wait.

Poker System Failure

So you have a poker system in place? You feel that it will be able to help you win more times than not, right? If so, you are just like most other advanced poker players in the world today. But what will happen to you if the unthinkable pops up and starts to rear its ugly head? That is right, what will you be able to do if your poker system begins to fail you game in and game out. This is a harsh reality that a lot of people have to deal with time and time again. When it comes down to it you will probably not be able to use the same exact poker system throughout your entire career. There are times when you will need to make changes if you ever want to move to the top of the industry.

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The first thing that you should do if your poker system fails you is to get an idea as to what is going wrong. Is there something major that is not allowing you to win? Or is it simply something that you can fix within a matter of minutes? The fact of the matter is that if you want to fix your problem you are going to have to first identify it. This may take you a bit of time, but all in all it is quite important.

After you know what the problem is, the next step is to decide on how you are going to deal with it. For most people, the best way to deal with a system failure is to swap out the idea that is going wrong. For example, if you have found that you are having a hard time with your aggressive play, you may be able to tone it back a bit in order to get yourself back on the right track. Just remember, when you are toying with your poker system you should never change more than one thing at the same time. Instead, you should use a process of elimination in order to get a good idea as to what is going on with your game.

Finally, if you make changes to your poker system and you find out that you are worse off than you were to start, simply go back to the way that you used to do things. This is the great part about playing around with your poker system. You can make changes, and if they do not suit your needs you can simply go back to the way that things were and start over at point a.

As you can see, there are going to be times when your poker system does not work out to your advantage. But as long as you are willing to look into the changes that you can make you should be alright. Remember, you may see change as a bad thing but this is not necessarily true. If you want to be the best of the best you cannot be afraid to change the way that you play, and also try new things. Who knows, by trying out a new system you may find the key to success!

How to calculate rake contribution

Whenever you sign up for a rakeback deal, there are a few factors that you need to assess in order to determine the true value of the deal. While there are countless articles out there about how to assess sign-up bonuses, the same cannot be said about rakeback deals. Not all rakeback deals are the same. The same deal will yield very nice revenue for one type of player, and not be nearly as profitable for another guy.

A rakeback deal’s value should always be sought in the way the poker room in question calculates rakeback. Sure, whether or not the sign-up bonus is subtracted from rakeback also matters, but in the long run, the method used to calculate rakeback is much more important. Here are the different types of methods used by poker rooms to determine a player’s Monthly Gross Revenue or MGR (rakeback is directly dependent on MGR, so rakeback will be calculated in the same way as MGR – depending on which deal you chose).

poker rakeback

The dealt rake method takes the total value of the rake taken off a given pot and distributes it equally among all those players who have been dealt into the hand. This way, you’ll be amassing MGR and you’ll be earning rakeback even on hands that you do not generate rake on. This method offers a quaint advantage to tight-passive players who do not like putting money into the pot, while it seriously undermines the efforts of a loose-aggressive, action junkie who ends up generating rakeback revenue for his/her opponents.

The contributed rake method is a little more accurate in determining exactly who contributes money to the pot. The rake is still divided equally, this time however only those who have actively played the hand (put money into the pot) will be eligible for MGR allotment. This rake calculation method eliminates the advantages the dealt method provided for “rocks”. Loose aggressive players will still end up generating MGR for others though.

The weighted contributed rake method is the only one which is truly “fair”. It only allots rake contribution to those who put money into the pot, and it considers how much money each of these guys actually drop. If they put more money into the pot they’ll get more MGR, if they do not put money into the pot, they get zilch. This way, loose aggressive players will only generate MGR for themselves, the same way everyone will be fully responsible for their own MGR.

Of course, the rakeback percentage offered is also important in the assessment of a deal, but make sure you check the rake calculation method and hold it more important because you may get a nice percentage on a deal which you just cannot get rolling.

Ultra-high rakeback percentages usually come with poker prop deals, but these carry far more obligations for a player than any regular rakeback deal.

World Series of Poker

The World Series of Poker, the first major poker tournament, is the highest profile poker tournament in the world. With a buy-in fee of $10,000, the World Series of Poker attracts the finest players in the game.

From Small Beginnings…

The World Series of Poker was started by Benny Binion in 1970 as a small, invitation-only tournament. The first world champion was Johnny Moss, who was awarded a silver cup for his achievement. The subsequent year, a cash prize was instated, and again Johnny Moss was the victor. Throughout the 1970s, the World Series of Poker continued to grow in size, with many additions and changes to the games being played.

World Series of Poker

…To the Largest Poker Tournament on the Planet

In 2004, World Poker champion Greg Raymer took home $5 million as his prize. The number of participants has continued to double year after year; it is expected that many players will compete in 2014. The main event in the World Series of Poker tournament is a $10,000 buy-in game of Texas Hold `Em, at no limit. The total prize money for the 2014 tournament is expected to be more than $10 million. In addition to the monetary prize, winners are awarded a gold bracelet, and their picture is placed on the Gallery of Champions in the Horseshoe Casino.

For years, the championship was played at Binion’s Horseshoe, but in 2004, Binion was bought out by Harrah’s Entertainment. The 2005 championships will be divided between Harrah’s Rio Casino, just off the Vegas Strip, and with the final two days at the Horseshoe.

Crossover into Online Poker With The Online Poker Guide

If you’re big into sports betting you might feel like that’s the only thing that’s really worth doing in the overall gambling world. There are really so many different people that are interested in so many different aspects of gambling, but if you’re happy with soccer betting and love to find football betting tips,  than we guess that’s not really a big deal. Still, there does come a point where you really might want to look outside of just football betting.

What about poker? What about slots? Blackjack more your speed? There are a lot of different casino games that you could be playing and still win good money. If you’re only into sports betting because of the community or the chance to win big, then we have some news that you really might want to hear.

Online Poker Guide

A good online poker guide can really help you explore your options because it’s going to give you insight into the casino world at large. For example, if you are going to hunt for bonus codes you really need to know what the best ones are. This will save you hours and hours of research online. It’s very easy to think that you’re going to go online and search for something fast, only to find that you’re actually spending a lot of time that could be spent doing something much more interesting. Even though we really do like being able to talk to everyone about all things casino related, we find that there’s going to be a point where you want to stop talking and start playing.

Right? Right! Of course, we’re still not saying that sports betting is bad — you can always keep doing that while you explore the casino world. The online poker guide should give you the best places to play your game of choice, as well as the top promotions happening in the casino world.

Don’t feel like you have to go with the first casino that jumps out at you. Taking the time to read through what other players think about a casino can often save you a lot of grief. Even though we’ve had really positive experiences in the casino world, many people haven’t. It can really make you feel like the whole casino industry online is rigged and unfair but that’s not the case at all. Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the entire bunch when there really is so much to gain from playing gambling games online. Check it out today for yourself!

Yet Another Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy Article

In some ways, Caribbean stud poker is an easier game to strategize than other common variants like five-card stud and five-card draw.

The facts:

a) that all the cards are dealt at once (unlike five-card stud)
b) that there is no opportunity to “drop” cards (unlike five-card draw poker) make the game fundamentally simpler.

Bluffing is also out of the question, as players complete not against each other but instead against the dealer, whose actions are entirely dependent on the cards he or she is dealt. Essentially players are betting solely on whether they think that their cards are higher than the dealer’s.

Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

The house advantage in Caribbean stud poker is actually the same as in American-style roulette: 5.26%. The difference between the two is that while roulette is a game of pure luck, Caribbean stud poker can involve an element of strategy.

The big decision in Caribbean stud poker is this one: play, or fold. If a player folds, he or she loses the ante but avoids the possibility of losing even more. If a player decides to play, he or she must raise the bet. There are then three possible outcomes:

  • The dealer folds; the player wins the ante bet.
  • The dealer plays and the player has the higher hand; the player wins both the ante bet and the raise bet.
  • The dealer plays and has the higher hand; the player loses both the ante bet and the raise bet.

Keep in mind that the dealer will always fold if he or she does not hold a King, an Ace, or any higher poker combination (one pair, etc.).

As with many casino games, the dealer’s strategy is usually the best. A player with no high card should always fold.

In fact, even if a player does have a King or an Ace and decides to play, he or she will be unlikely to win the raise bet, because the dealer will only play with a high card as well. In such cases, the player should also fold.

Players should only play if they are holding both a King and an Ace, or any higher poker combination. If a player is holding any poker combination – i.e. one pair or higher – he or she should always play the hand. In a five-card game without dropping, the chances of being dealt any poker combination are slim at best. Even with a pair of deuces, there is less than a 50% chance that the dealer will also have a pair.

Meanwhile, if a player is holding both a King and an Ace (and has no higher poker combination), the player should fold unless one of the following conditions is met:

  • Two of the player’s other three cards are Q and J, or
  • One of the player’s other three cards is a Q, J, or 10, and the player is holding a card of the same value as the dealer’s face up card.

In the second condition, the reason that the player must be holding a card of the same value as the dealer’s face up card is that this lowers the chances of the dealer having a pair.

Is Playing Poker Gambling?

One thing I’ve heard almost as much as “xxxx-in river” in poker is this wild statement that playing poker isn’t gambling.

Feel free to tell yourself what you must, but anyone who says that playing Poker isn’t gambling doesn’t have a firm command of the English language.

Many think that education and training somehow makes the game risk-free. If you believe that, I’ve got a piece of land to sell you. Yes, playing Poker is gambling no matter how good you are and how many fish are at the table.

Playing Poker

Gambling is the act of risking anything of value. The risk level doesn’t matter. You could be 99.9% assured of winning and you’d still be gambling. A better statement would be that playing Poker is much less of a gamble than playing the Lotto or Keno.

Remember, you can train as much as you like and you can be the best Poker player in the world, but you’re always putting your chips out there with some degree of risk.

So, educate yourself in the art of Poker and train like there’s no tomorrow. Just don’t forget that your money always has a measure of risk attached to it.

Improving your Online Poker Game

If you want to become a great online poker player than you have to learn to walk before you can, meaning it’s essential that you not only learn the fundamentals – but act on them.

The following are a few things you should look at, decide if you fall victim to – and if so change (and improve your game).

Multitabling

There are many good multitablers out there, however there are many bad ones too. If you are good at it then it can be quite profitable but it really isn’t for everyone.

If you have decided to multitable you really should start tracking your play in a poker tracking software or even just a spreadsheet so that you can find out if you are doing better or worse than when you play at one table.

Don’t beat yourself up about it if you can’t multitable and profit, just find out what makes you money.

If you can multitable well than I highly suggest you invest in a good video card and dual screen monitors – it will make your game that much easier and better.

Online Poker Game

Attention Splitting

If you play poker at the casino your attention is focused only on the the game. However when you play online it can be easy to get distracted by the likes of phones, pagers, TV, instant messaging, other people and a whole load more.

The best thing to do if you are serious about playing poker is to allocate a time slot in which you can play poker uninterrupted. Turn your phone off, unplug the TV and remove all possible distractions – you may be amazed by how much better your game gets.

Auto-Action Buttons

You really should try to use the instant action buttons as little as possible. These buttons are really only made for lazy people or those that are too distracted with other things to pay attention.

Players who use these buttons convey weakness and poor poker skills, demonstrating a lack of interest in their hand. For example a player who insta-checks shows that their hand is not already made.

The only time you really should use these buttons is if you want to send a false message, for example if you want to insta-check to display weakness and entice others to place bets.

Playing Tired

It’s usually a big mistake to play tired. Often the other players at the table will be wide awake and concentrating hard where as if you are falling asleep at the computer than you are at a sever disadvantage.

If you must play tired however than you should do things to keep you awake and alert. Brew some coffee and play some music for example.

Going on Tilt

Going on tilt can be one of the quickest, easiest ways to lose your entire bankroll. One click and you can put your whole bankroll at risk.

The key is to be able to recognize tilt and to have a plan for when you go on it. Some good ideas include taking your frustration out on the the play money tables or in a freeroll. Another idea is to take a break.

Put them into practice.

Some of these might seem simple and obvious but way too many people fail to actually put them into practice. If you put these fundamental tips into practice you will become a better poker player.